Part-time, in classSocial Innovation Certificate

Increase your ability to create social impact

SFU’s Social Innovation Certificate is for professionals in the public, private and non-profit sectors who want to find effective, sustainable solutions to complex problems. You’ll take the program with a group of other professionals, including:

  • Public servants legislating and funding new ways to address intractable social problems
  • Business leaders harnessing market forces to generate positive impact
  • Experienced change agents seeking new ways to support social justice
  • Experts focusing on public health, environmental or human rights issues
  • Activists, community leaders, designers and social entrepreneurs working from the local to global level

Learn from experienced professionals and peers

The Social Innovation Certificate is taught by leading practitioners. Recognized social innovators will join the cohort as guest lecturers and coaches, and will participate in the wider peer network.

Perhaps most inspiring is the cohort of new colleagues you’ll meet and learn from. Because you all bring broad experience and knowledge to the program, we include peer coaching as well as executive coaching. Together you will challenge each other’s thinking and deepen your capacities for positive change. 

Gain practical ways to create meaningful change

Grad Moréniké found a new approach to her non-profit work through social innovation. Read her story

The program consists of five three-day modules and a practicum/coaching module. Each module presents frameworks, tools and methods to advance social innovation, along with practical ways to build what you learn into your work.

The Social Innovation Certificate will enable you to:

Understand social innovation frameworks and concepts
  • Assess how to apply the range of social innovation approaches and tools, from systems thinking and human-centred design, to social finance and social enterprise, to whole-system engagement and collaborative practices
  • Analyze innovative ideas and identify windows of opportunity where implementation of change is more likely
  • Use collaborative methods—such as labs, collective impact and other cross-sector approaches—to generate risk taking and comprehensive solutions
  • Understand various approaches to social innovation, including public sector and social service innovation, corporate social innovation, advocacy, social finance and enterprise
Increase professional skills and competencies
  • Approach complex problems in new ways, including observing and mapping social/political/economic systems with greater clarity, diagnosing problems, experimenting, iterating and developing flexibility in thinking and action 
  • Develop and test innovative interventions for mobilizing change through an applied practicum
  • Coach peers and participate in a learning community with colleagues who work on diverse issues
  • Create spaces that allow for trust, risk taking, growth and new forms of collective action
Deepen awareness and leadership capacity
  • Demonstrate clarity of purpose and flexibility in the role of change-maker, innovator or entrepreneur
  • Practise the leadership and relationship skills necessary to create transformative impact
  • Analyze and explore emergence, complexity and the qualities of awareness helpful for navigating ambiguous situations
  • Practise mindfulness and empathy

The program will strip theories, tools and processes to their essence, emphasizing their core purposes and principles. This approach will help you invent new ways to solve the real-world challenges you’re engaged with.